The multi-award winning moladi construction system was founded in South Africa in 1986 as a method of building cast in place reinforced monolithic structures. The moladi technology was developed as a means to alleviate many of the cumbersome and costly aspects associated with conventional construction methods without compromising on the quality or integrity of the structure.
The moladi system constitutes the use of a removable, reusable, recyclable and lightweight plastic formwork mould, which is filled with a South African Bureau of Standards approved and Agrément Certified aerated mortar to form the wall structure of a house in as little as one day. Each set of moladi formwork panels can be re-used 50 times making the technology cost effective due to its repetitive application scheme, reducing the cost of construction and transportation significantly. The moladi system produces durable and permanent structures, which have been subject to numerous tests and independent reports.
The process involves a number of smaller components which are assembled into larger, lightweight panels that are configured into a mould which forms a house of any desired size and design. The engineer specified steel reinforcing bars, window and door block-outs, conduits, service pipes and other fittings are positioned within the 150mm or 100mm wall cavity, which is then filled with a specially formulated and project specific lightweight mortar consisting of the local river sand, cement, water, and a harmless cement admixture to form all the walls of the house simultaneously. The moladi plastic formwork panels are then removed the following morning and immediately re-erected onto an adjoining site. The result is a wall with a smooth off-shutter finish that does not require any plastering, beam filling or chasing and generates no waste. The walls are then painted, the roof erected and windows and doors are installed to complete the house.
The moladi construction process should be viewed as a workflow process similar to that of a vehicle assembly line. Through the simplification, standardization, modularization, and industrialization of the construction process, efficiency and cost savings are achieved and maintained by managing the continuous flow process on site.The moladi construction method provides structures which are permanent, durable, waterproof, and possess excellent thermal and sound insulation properties.
The moladi walls possess an average compressive strength of 15MPa or 15N/mm², which is far stronger than the average standard for cement blocks which vary from 3.6 N/mm² and 7N/mm² or common clay building bricks, which have a compressive strength of 5.2N/mm². moladi’s principle methodology is aimed at eliminating all of the typical problems one encounters with construction projects, such as time constraints, shortage of skilled labour and materials as well as waste. It is the simplicity, performance, functionality and practicality of the moladi technology which contributes to the affordability of moladi homes which are roughly 30% less than similar structures built using the traditional brick and mortar method. With its streamlined and simplistic approach to construction, the application of the moladi technology is not dependant on skilled labour or artisans for construction and utilises local unskilled labourers to build moladi homes, enabling community involvement in the construction of their own homes. It brings to the field of construction the benefits of producing quality assured work by unskilled labourers at a maximum rate of production. Over 90% of the construction team on a moladi housing site consists of unskilled labourers. Also, women who have traditionally been either reluctant or discouraged from working within the male-dominated sector are encouraged to participate in the non-labour intensive moladi building process.
The moladi construction method has been designed with the objective to allow for an unskilled team of people to follow moladi’s optimized, repetitive and sequential process that eliminates the probability of any errors occurring that are crucial to the outcome of the structural quality or integrity of a moladi housing unit. The opportunity to create ‘sweat equity’ is a key advantage in the use of the moladi construction system. Most traditional and alternative construction methods require certain skills and trained artisans who would be essential to contributing towards the structural integrity of a building and in many cases within South Africa, skilled artisans are not available or skilled workers are wrongfully replaced with a cheaper, unskilled workforce, resulting in shoddy and unfit structures.